A coupé-style fastback isn’t the most obvious tow car, but that doesn’t mean a good one isn’t up to the job. And the Volkswagen Arteon is better than merely ‘good’.
It does all of the sensible, important things that we ask of a tow car, and brilliantly.
We all know nothing matters more than stability in a tow car. The Arteon is unperturbable, whatever you throw at it.
Crosswinds? No trouble. High speeds? Easy-peasy. Emergency manoeuvres? Not a problem.
With 148bhp, the Arteon is modestly powered, compared with many of the cars on test this year.
But the 2.0-litre diesel has enough mid-range pull to confidently tow any sensibly matched caravan up to speed.
And your restraint in choosing a mid-range engine is rewarded with excellent fuel economy; the Arteon finished second in our fuel economy testing, returning 29.1mpg while towing a Swift caravan weighing 85% of the car’s kerbweight.
You’d think that choosing such a striking car would mean compromising on practicality, but the Arteon is roomier than it looks.
There’s a little less headroom in the back than in a Passat, but lots of legroom, and adults can travel in comfort.
What’s more, the cabin is well built, the dashboard is logically laid out, and we found the seats supportive on long journeys.
Boot space is even more surprising. Our practicality judges found room for every last item of holiday luggage, something that can’t be said of some of the bigger estate cars tested this year.
The Arteon has another strength that’s becoming more and more important – it’s light enough to make a sensible choice for those with a B licence.
With a gross vehicle weight of 2170kg, there’s 1330kg of the 3500kg licence limit left for the caravan. That’s enough to tow a Sprite Alpine 4, for example.
Looks are subjective, of course, and play no part in our scoring here. But isn’t it great that a vehicle this good-looking also tows this well?
Hatch 1.5 TSI 150PS SE L DSG
2.0 TSI 190PS FR DSG
2.0 TDI 150PS Elegance DSG
Touring xDrive M Sport
3.0 SDV6 HSE
1.5 dCi Ambiance 4x4
P400e HSE Dynamic
1.0 TSI 115 FR
1.5 EcoBlue 120PS Titanium X